Tonsillectomy | Adenoidectomy | Sinus

Tonsillectomy | back to top

You will be given a prescription for an antibiotic to prevent infection as the throat is healing. Take the antibiotic until the prescription is completed.

You will be given a prescription for pain medicine. The medication may be given as frequently as every four hours if needed. You do not have to give the medication around the cIock–only if your child is in pain. Keeping the pain under control may help your child swallow and prevent dehydration. Tylenol may be administered if the pain is mild but do not give in addition to the prescribed medication unless instructed by a physician. The pain medication contains acetaminophen (the ingredient in Tylenol) and too much will result in overdose. Do not give aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for 2 weeks after surgery unless instructed by a physician.

Nausea or vomiting
Some patients experience nausea or vomiting as a result of anesthesia or pain medication. If your child vomits more than twice in one day, please notify the physician.

During the healing period, the back of the throat may appear white-this is part ofthe healing process and does not indicate infection. Your child may have bad breath temporarily after surgery. It is recommended that teeth continue to be brushed after surgery. Ear pain is a common complaint and should be treated with pain medication.

Bleeding is an uncommon occurrence after surgery but can be dangerous. If it occurs at home, the timing is usually 5-10 days after surgery and may present as spitting or vomiting of blood. If any more than 1 teaspoon of blood is seen, please notify Dr. Cecola or the hospital operator and go to Children’s Hospital or the Emergency Department of the closest hospital. See telephone numbers below.

Adenoidectomy | back to top

After the Operation
Some ear and neck pain may occur after the operation. When your child complains of a sore throat, ear, or neck pain:

Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours as needed.

Please follow the directions on the package.

Give either prescription pain medicine or plain Tylenol every 4 hours-but NOT BOTH.

DO NOT give your child aspirin.

Your doctor may also order an antibiotic.

Saline nose drops can be used to help nasal stuffiness (Ocean Mist/Ayr) every 1-2hrs. A cool mist humidifier may help night time breathing – run in the room with the door closed. Your child may have fluid come out of his I her nose after drinking. This is due to a lack of muscle control in the throat. This usually stops after 2 weeks. Your child’s voice may sound different for several weeks after the operation.

Your child may have bad breath for several weeks.

Children can brush their teeth.

Your child may run low-grade fever under 102 F.

Blood-tinged drainage from the ears may occur for the first couple of days. Drainage beyond 3 days would be reason to notify the doctor’s office.

Drops will be prescribed for 3 days after surgery to prevent plugging of the tubes. Use of drops for a longer period may be recommended if drainage persists. Your child may play with or pull at his ears during the healing period. Occasionally children will cry when the ear drops are used.

A clear liquid diet is recommended immediately after surgery. Diet can be advanced to regular as tolerated.

Your child may return to daycare or school the day following surgery under most circumstances.

Water precautions
Swimming is allowed after surgery, but ear plugs are usually recommended to prevent water from entering the ear tubes. These can be purchased ready made or can be customized to fit your child’s ears. In the bathtub, cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) can be used to prevent splashing of water into the ears. Water in the ears should be avoided the entire time that the tubes are in place in the eardrums.

Daily Activities After the Operation
A light meal is suggested on the first day. You may advance to a normal diet after several days as tolerated. Your child may bathe or shower. Your child may return to school and all play activities 3-5 days after surgery. Avoid orange juice and tomato juice as these may sting during healing. NO hard foods-no chips, peanuts, popcorn, or fried foods. Liquids such as Popsicles, 10k, Gatorade, & pedialyte are recommended immediately post surgery. Smoothies, yogurt, snowballs, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, & jello are all recommended soft foods.

When to Call the Doctor

If your child has bright, red bleeding from the nose or mouth that lasts for more than 1 minute – GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT THE NEAREST HOSPITAL.

If your child has a fever higher than 102*F (39*C).

If pain is not lessened with Tylenol with codeine.

If continued vomiting occurs.

If your child is not drinking.

If your child is not urinating at least twice a day.

If neck pain is causing your child to tilt the head or turn it to one side.

If your child does not seem better after 10 days

Ear drainage after the follow-up visit
Drainage through the tubes usually implies infection and may respond to antibiotic drops. Starting these drops early may prevent the need for antibiotics by mouth. Call Dr. Cecola’s office for a prescription and a follow-up visit.

PE tube removal
The tubes will usually fall out on their own within the first couple of years following surgery (average one year). If your child’s tubes are still in the eardrums after 2 years, consideration may be given to tube removal. Be certain to follow up with Dr. Cecola.

Your child will get a prescription for antibiotics by mouth. Please take the entire prescription. Please notify us of any medication allergies.

A pain medicine is routinely ordered but may not be necessary.

Follow-up appointment
The follow-up post-op appointment should be made for 2-3 weeks after surgery. You can call 821-0244 to make these arrangements.

Nasal and Sinus Surgery | back to top


Sleep with your head elevated for the first few days, either on extra pillows or in a recliner chair.

Take medications as prescribed.

Change drip pad under nose (if present) as needed.

Use a cool-mist humidifier at night for the first week to moisturize the air.

Use salt water nasal sprays 48 hrs after surgery. Salt water nasal sprays such as Ocean or AYR help humidify the nose, reduce crusts, and promote healing of the nose. Simply inhale 2-3 sprays in each nostril gently 4-5 times a day or more.

If instructed by your physician, salt water irrigations twice daily with a plastic bulb syringe or Water-Pik nasal attachment can be performed beginning at 48 hrs. Use ½ tsp. salt in 1 cup of warm water to make the solution.


No nose blowing for one week! Nose blowing soon after surgery can cause nosebleeds.

No straining, bending over, or heavy lifting for at least one week.

No aspirin or non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc.) for at least one week after surgery since they can aggravate bleeding. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is best after surgery.

No eyeglasses should be worn after surgery for 2-3 weeks if any cosmetic nasal surgery has been performed.

Please don’t take any medications unless prescribed by one of your physicians.

General Information
Your doctor will ask you to return to the office within 1-3 days after surgery for an examination. Nasal splints or packs if present may be removed at that time. Also, most patients will need to have additional visits weekly for several weeks to assess healing and for nasal cleaning. Slight bloody drainage is normal for the first few days after surgery and may occur for several weeks during the healing process. However, if you have severe or persistent bleeding, please contact one of us immediately. Also, please notify us immediately if you experience any of the following: sudden or severe facial swelling, any new problem with vision, severe pain or fever, or severe nausea or vomiting.